By Matt McCormick, Freestyle Snowboarder
I started skiing when I was about six at my local dryslope (Bearsden Ski and Snowboard Club). At the time my older brother, Danny, was the only one of my siblings tall enough to fit the rental snowboards at the club. I was always keen to do whatever he did, so I traded skis for a snowboard as soon as I was big enough.
I really enjoy the freedom that comes along with snowboarding. There are very few restrictions attached, you can wear what you want and ride how you like, it’s all an expression of your own personal style. The moments I enjoy most are when it’s a sunny, spring day and I’m lapping the park with a good group of friends!
When people ask what are the most important attributes to have, I would say it’s important to be determined. You’ll spend plenty of time falling over, if you get into freestyle snowboarding, so it’s important to be able to pick yourself back up and give it another go!
Over the past few seasons I’ve started using “box breathing” to help calm me down before my contest runs which I’ve found pretty helpful. Aside from that, before an event, I just try to keep my focus on doing my best, as long as I know I put all my effort into the run I can walk away happy, regardless of my result.
In terms of physical attributes its helpful for freestyle snowboarding if you’ve got a good spring and are light on your feet. Many snowboard tricks involve quick movements so having fast feet really helps.
In terms of riding I’m really inspired by people like Arthur Long and Jake Kuzyk, I’m a big fan of their style. I also get inspired by other riders on the GB Freestyle team like Billy Morgan and my little brother Chris, they’re really good fun to ride with which motivates me to push my riding to the next level.
Outside of snowboarding I mostly take inspiration from other action sports people like Danny MacAskill or Felipe Gustavo.
To anyone looking to get into snowboarding I’d say head down to your local dryslope/snowdome and just get stuck in! The UK snowboarding community is very supportive so don’t be afraid to ask locals for some help on specific tricks, I’m sure they’d be happy to help!